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Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Creation in Christ

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17

Was there ever a time in your life, prior to becoming a Christian, when you examined your life and said, "How can God possibly use me? My life is too messed up, I've done too many bad things. God can't forgive me...not someone like me."

Well, I've been there.

I've sat up until the wee hours of the morning, crying because my life was so off track, because I messed up so many times I couldn't keep track of all the lies, the games I played, the people I hurt. I would think back on my parents, how many times they bailed me out of bad situations (financially and otherwise), watched me crumble into a million pieces and then work hard to help me rebuild my life only to have me stab them in the back again and again. Regardless of how many times I messed up and hurt my parents though, they always came through for me; maybe not in ways I thought were best for me, but in ways they knew were best for me - most of the time anyway.

My parents are difficult people and I've always had a complex relationship with them - especially my mother. Years of games played on both sides, feelings that were hurt, bad choices, times of being emotionally unavailable and screaming matches that you wouldn't believe caused all of our hearts to be hardened to one another for so many years.

You see, my parents had seen me bring their lives to ruin time after time that "tough love" had to be their motto with me...and they were right to do so - in retrospect. When I became a Christian one late night while watching Billy Graham on television - a choice I made in conjunction with a "deal I made with God" after promising to put off my thoughts of suicide (which had been attempted in the past several times mind you - something else I put my parents through) if He could change my life.

I gave God one shot to change my life - I told God, if He could just take the mess of a life I created and turn it into something worth wile. Could you imagine me telling God what to do! Do you ever do that?

My parents always let me back into their lives - in fact, it was never them who was me. I was the one who walked away from them...not the other way around. In those times of of me walking away, my parents tried and tried to get me back on track - but eventually, they let me fail, knowing full well they would have to be the ones there to pick up the pieces when it was all over; and they were right!

In the end, they were the ones who convinced the university to take me back...they were the ones to bail me out financially time after time of making horrible, shattering choices, they were the ones who were there for me when I went through my radiation treatments and therapy after my bout with thyroid cancer. They were also the ones who held their breath and cried as I walked across the stage, finally earning my degree (with honors!) after 9 years of turmoil, they are the ones who brought all the food for my first family party at my house, and they are the ones helping plan (and pay for!) my upcoming wedding. They have experienced my lowest lows, and my highest hurts have been their joy has been their joy. How much more has Christ experienced those moments with me?

Jesus said - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we become new...He pushes the reset button...erases the blackboard and claps the erasers...He erases our Etch-A-Sketch...He says that "old things have passed away" - He buried our old things and they passed away - they then became new through His blood - His sacrifice - His choice to take us back into His arms and use us for His purpose (which is way better than our purposes!) - despite the filth that we once were.

Just like the transition from winter into Spring - time passes day after day of choices that are dark, cold, resembling death...then, we choose - we choose life (Christ) - we step out in faith and we plant our bulbs, our seeds...and what happens - LIFE! Bursting forth in color, in beauty, in a promise of warmth and joy!

Are there still showers?

Yes! BUT - those showers no longer bring death, but life - renewal and a constant promise that when we step out in faith and choose life will always burst forth - just as Christ burst forth from the tomb, defeating death, showing that, behold, He makes all things new - even His wayward children...what a Daddy we have!!

Let's pray:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for making us new creations! You didn't have to welcome us back into Your arms - we who were covered in filth. But you chose to not only welcome us with open arms, but You removed our filth and covered us with Your for the Kingdom of Heaven! Lord, continue to renew us day by day, forgive us of our sins, help us to always be grateful for Your sacrifice...never taking Your blood and Your broken bones for granted. Strip away our flesh so that only Your Spirit can shine through. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that even though the winter seems long and death but an inch away at times...that You always make sure that Spring will come again with it's beauty and new creations. Help us to hold on to the truth that You loved us so much that You died for us while we were still sinners - but, when we put our faith in You, You promise to make us new again - to wipe the slate clean...even though we never deserved it - and still don't. Thank You for loving us enough to share in our failures - and we pray that You smile in our accomplishments, only made possible by Your hand. We praise You Lord, and give You all the glory. Amen.

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Blogger Christine said...

The never ending love and job of a parent...and our heavenly Father.

April 9, 2009 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Amen, very beautiful my friend. I love you.

April 9, 2009 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger The Real Me! said...

Wow. Very inspiring post. Thank you for being transparent and opening your heart.
Blessings to you.

April 9, 2009 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Unconditional love of a partent. God sets the perfect example.

April 9, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Kennisha Hill said...

Beautifully written! We share similar testimonies about our childhood. Thank God we are New in Him!

Kennisha Hill

April 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

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